I was guest speaking at a Women in business event recently and was asked to discuss the topic of Organisation. It’s a big issue for many women, the feeling that they aren’t organised, or that they can’t organise themselves, because of the volume of activities they are juggling and it made them feel at their worst. As always there is a matter of perspective to take into account and the stories we tell ourselves.
This is playing out with my daughter at the moment and I am committed to using my words carefully with her when the issue arises. In school, she’s had many teachers tell her she is disorganised and she now says it herself. ‘I’m just not an organised person mum.’ ‘I forgot to put my homework in my bag and I got a behaviour point. I’m so disorganised.’ Recently, she received behaviour points and a detention for it, which reaffirms her negative self-talk. I’m not saying that she shouldn’t have a detention, (there are school rules, she has to play the game) but I know that to help her become more organised, and believe that she can be more organised, it will take more than the pain of the detention to create good habits and increase self- esteem around something that does not come naturally to her.
When I talk to her I explain how I am not ‘naturally’ a methodical person, or an organised person, but I see the benefits in being more organised and how it can help me feel better when I am, so I work daily on being as organised as I can be. It helps bring BEST me out to play. Sometimes I am very organised, other times I drop a ball, but I consciously aim to be more organised and so I am, more often than not. Rather than adopting the label ‘I am disorganised’ I tell myself ‘I am someone who is committed to being more organised.’ There is a big difference and I want her to see herself this way too. A girl who is committed to being more organised, in order to help BEST me come out to play. This was clear when I spoke to many of the women at the presentation, I heard them say to ladies around them, ‘I’m not organised.’ giving themselves a label and, ‘I’ve so much on it’s impossible to be organised.’ demonstrating their limiting belief. A big part of feeling overwhelmed is the feeling that everything is out of control, so when working with clients there are 3 key areas we look at to see where these feelings stem from and where they can making often tiny changes that will impact on this feeling of disorganisation in a big way. This has to come with taking action and taking personal responsibility. I call it the 3 Rs of Organisation.
3 R's of Organisation
Routine – first look at your morning and night time routines. Are they helping you or hindering you? Are there challenges you are facing in creating the routines you’d like, to be as organised as you can? (Maybe a child that finds it hard to go to sleep, or a night feed or a pet that wakes you up too early?) When do you shop for food? How do you plan what to eat? Who and how do you shop for it? How do you plan your week? Your day? Look at what you can do and what solutions you can find for some of the challenges you might face in creating the routines you want. The sort of routines that will help you approach each day feeling calmer, more confident and able to manage better when the shiz hits the fan. Again, #sodtheshoulds come into play here as I believe you have to do it YOUR way to make it stick. There are lots of 5am clubs and people doing meditation or yoga before they start their day, but you have to find what works for you and want to do it enough to make those changes to benefit you. Or guess what? You won’t do it. One client I worked with found that by simply making the children’s lunches the night before straight after tea, and ironing uniforms that were then hung for the kids to jump straight into in the morning, it changed all of her morning experience and gave her the start to the day she’d been craving for years! It sounds so simple, but that tiny change in routine, of spending half an hour the night before, changed her life. Another lady I worked with wanted to write for her blog, but had a full time, emotionally draining day job, so she changed her morning routine to get up half an hour earlier. She now posts regularly on her blog and has increased her engagement 100%, because she gives herself that time daily. It also improves her emotional resiliencestate daily as she uses the blog to express her thoughts and emotions in a really healthy way. It’s improved how she feels about her day job and her relationships. A half an hour a day change! A senior leader in a big organisation swapped her weekly food shop, that took her 3 hours at the weekend, to a 30 minute on line delivery order, freeing her up to go to the gym on a Saturday instead. As well as this, she delegated the daily dog walking to her husband, who wanted to get fit, giving her an extra hour a day to pursue other hobbies which she’d put on the back burner whilst her children were young. You choose how you spend your day and how good it makes you feel about you.
Rituals (OK Systems but it doesn't begin with R! ;-)) -Another area I ask clients to explore are the systems they have in their home and business. A shoe cupboard and coat rack in the hall can change how you feel about the mountain of chaos that can pile up when everyone is home! My client decided she needed to do this and it changed how she felt about her whole home environment. So simple! And yes, I know first world problems and all that, but when women come to me feeling overwhelmed, it can be these little changes that make ALL the difference to how they feel about themselves and their lives. That means they can go out and live up to their full potential feeling on top of their game! If you run your own business have you got Standard Operating Procedures which take the overwhelming feelings out of repetitive tasks like invoicing, or booking clients, or sending out products? Having a really good look at your business and see what can be automated or streamlined will help you feel more in control, give you more hours in your day and will give customers a great experience. A client I worked with last year set up a whole training manual when she was inducting her first employee. Now she uses the same manual every time she employs someone and the process is effortless and consistent to her company standards and values. She’s building a bigger team (and doubling her income) with ease and grace because she set up the system well. Another client set up a morning team meeting which allowed her to nip challenges in the bud and delegate effectively so she could run her day on her own agenda and not be at the mercy of her team’s constant demands, which had been happening before. A simple ritual that increased everyone’s productivity 10 fold.
Repeat – Like anything, this only works if you are consistent and repeat the routines and rituals that you know will help you and will make you feel calmer, more organised and on top of your game every day. Women often carry the ‘mental load’ for their family and working on these 3 Rs can help you find that energy that feels drained by all the balls you are juggling. You know you. You know what works and what doesn’t work. You know whether this bothers you or not. And you know you have the choice to be committed to being more organised if it’s something you want. Do what you need to do and tell me if it helps you get to your NEXT LEVEL.
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